Dion: women, whine, and song
From The Toronto Sun. I was listening to a documentary last night, which discussed how the language and linguistic style of our political leaders (in this case the French language) helps shape the public’s perception of them. When, Dion’s French was discussed, it was referred to as exact, refined, but also that his speaking style was detached and “professorial”. Professorial is a patronizing attitude that conveys superiority, and it also is used derogatorily to refer to insensitivity, detachment, and lack of connection. As one commenter put it, great leaders inspire in the public a perception that they are there to listen to them. To some extent, all our political leaders are “professorial” but Dion’s particular weakness, one conveyed either in his effete French or his body language is his awkwardness and failure to connect with people. Fair enough, if I were standing that close to Ruby Dhalla, I might too feel “uncomfortable” (that’s all I call it), but this is common body language for Dion. I mean, there seems a dis-ease about Dion when he’s too intimate and close to people (see also his reaction in photo with Rae). I believe this is why he’s not connecting with the electorate, not because of relatively poor English. Chretien massacred the English language (apparently French also) but he nonetheless connected with the public.
On Dion and women. Dion sided with a Conservative budget that announced massive cuts to women’s programs. For 13 years, the Liberals promised a Child Care program (arguably the most obvious and important way to help women), and failed to deliver. Dion may have a number of women candidates, but its clear he doesn’t listen to them. Some of his prominent women candidates like Martha Hall Findlay and Carolyn Bennett, not to mention most “progressives” have repeatedly called for electoral reform. In ignoring all those pleas, Dion forfeits any right to call himself a “progressive”.
On Dion and song. Well it’s the same old song and dance. Dion asking “progressives” to reward the Liberals for failing to perform their basic duty as Opposition, for squandering an opportunity to present a credible challenge to Harper, and for insulting their intelligence.
The NDP is the only credible choice for “progressives”. Women will be much better represented in choosing NDP. 41% of the last NDP caucus were women, the largest percentage of any party. Moreover, Layton’s plan of investing in people and families, rather than the corporate socialism of the Liberals and Conservatives, will strive to create a just and fair society where every man and women can have an equal opportunity to participate fully in their society. Layton has announced poverty reduction targets, chid care program, chid benefits, increased minimum wage, pharmacare. It is the recognition that social justice is not only ethical, but smart business.